Modern tents are a lot different from the ones of yesteryear and provide shelter in a number of climates that were previously simply not possible. With this improvement in technology there have been a number of different additions to tents that have made them look a lot different to the ones used by our grandfathers. These additions include flysheets, the inner tent, vestibules, and groundsheets as well as improved versions of the tent pole and peg.
A tent flysheet is also commonly known as a rain fly and is found on all modern double skin tents. It is used to protect the actual tent from water and as a surface on which condensation can collect. When a flysheet is used it is very important that one ensures that there is no contact with the inner tent. On larger expedition tents that are used in areas such as the Himalayas poles are used to ensure that the strong winds do not blow the two different layers into contact.
The Inner Tent
The inner tent makes up the living and sleeping area of any modern tent. On a double skinned tent the inner is not normally waterproof as it is protected by the flysheet.
Please Note! Modern single skin tents are often made up of a material that is capable of both being waterproof on one side and permeable on the other. This allows the fabric to prevent liquid from penetrating the inside of the tent while still allowing water vapour created by breathing to move out through the fabric.
A vestibule is a floorless, covered section of the tent that is located on the outside of a entrance area. It is typically used to store items such as backpacks, large items of clothing and cooking utensils. The vestibule is more often than not used for camping activities that are best not done inside the tent such as cooking. Tent vestibules are normally removable tent attachments and can vary in size according to the type of tent. Not all tents have vestibules.
A groundsheet is the part of a modern tent that offers a waterproof barrier between the ground and a sleeping bag. Most modern ones have a sewn-in groundsheet that extends up to 15cm up the tent inner to provide a completely waterproof environment.
Improved Poles and Pegs
Mass production and modern technology have ensured that modern tents have poles and pegs made out of the most modern materials. These include poles made of fiberglass, metal alloys and even inflatable beams. Some tents, particularly very lightweight, even use hiking poles as structural supports. Pegs on the other hand are often made of wood, plastic or metal. More often than not they will need a mallet to drive them into the ground.